By Shabahat-Noor Husnain
When you open social media today, your feed is swarmed with posts, stories, celebrities and hashtags – all shedding light on the ethnic cleansing Israel is inflicting onto the Palestinian people. This imposition on human rights is something I care very deeply about and you should too. This isn’t about religion. This present-day apartheid is a reflection of our governments, the United Nations and everyone who chooses to stay silent or neutral on a literal genocide.
Historically speaking, Israel became a state in 1948 by means of settler colonialism. Israeli settlers came and took the homes of Palestinians with the support of their government, zionist ideologies, all through various wars. Over time, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians became refugees in their own country. Ultimately, this led to Israel having control of the entire nation despite resolutions, the participation of organizations and several agreements they failed to fulfill.
Today the people of Palestine live in fear and pain while Israel has the support of nations worldwide. The UK, US, Canada and France are some of Israel’s biggest supporters to name a few. In addition to this, the United States is providing the Israeli military with over 3.8 billion dollars annually, whereas Palestine doesn’t even have an army. So what exactly is Israel protecting itself from? That money could have been allocated to help their own country; it could be better spent as food assistance for over 2 million people.
The spotlight on Palestine is long overdue and part of the reason why is all the narratives Israel continues to misinform the public with. Palestine is suffering expulsion from their land and Israel justifies it as self-defence or that they’re entitled to the land, all of which is both untrue and misleading. This isn’t some “conflict” or dispute between nations and shouldn’t be labelled as such. There is a genocide occurring among us.
The fact of the matter is people are being killed. Israel attacked Gaza’s only Covid centre, causing an increase in the number of people getting sick and limiting the ability to provide healthcare for those injured from war crimes. Children and women are being killed. Houses have turned to rubble. Instead of listening to lullabies, innocent children are raised on the sounds of bombs exploding. They cover each other’s ears – this is their normal. Hundreds of kids are dead and it hurts to think that many of us are deciding our futures while most of the Palestinian people didn’t make it past 18. There is nothing that condones that. Just because Israel is widely supported doesn’t make them any less wrong.
The whole argument that you are anti-semitic for supporting Palestine is ludicrous. There are Palestinian Muslims, Jews and Christians. Not only that, but Palestine is the home to one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. I would like to add that Israeli settlements are not only illegal under Israeli law but also under international law. The United Nations defined Israel’s occupation as illegal and offered hundreds of resolutions only to be rejected by the state of Israel itself.
All the awareness being raised is crucial to the survival of Palestine. By using our platforms we help shift the narrative to the truth. When you choose to stay silent you actively support this apartheid. Our governments and media outlets appear to be biased, leaving it up to us to create change. We are the Palestinians’ only hope for freedom. There is so much you can do as an individual to help. You can donate. iF charity is located in the Gaza strip and provides food and health care. Palestine Child Relief Fund provides medical care along with other supplies to Palestinians. Boycott Israeli products; refrain from purchasing items from brands like Starbucks, McDonald’s, CocaCola, Nestle and so many more. Even something as simple as putting a post on your story, attending a protest or educating a friend can save a life.
I can’t say it enough; raising awareness is essential for the Palestinian cause. No one should be killed. A mother shouldn’t have to hold her child in her arms as they die from a bomb attack. Toddlers shouldn’t have to be dug out from under bricks. Countries should be working towards equity rather than prioritizing stripping people of their basic human rights. This entire occupation is avoidable, lives may not be able to be brought back, but we can stop more from dying if we raise our voices. Palestine is in dire need of accountability, change, justice and most importantly their freedom. #FreePalestine.